Winners and losers from MLB Trade Deadline

Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Los Angeles Dodgers, MLB, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres, San Francisco Giants, Toronto Blue Jays, Washington Nationals

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Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

With the MLB trade deadline now over, we look at the biggest winners and losers of the annual event.

It is rare that an MLB trade deadline lives up to expectations. Well, in 2021, MLB managed to steal the spotlight from the NBA Draft on Thursday night and saw a flurry of moves drop as the clock struck zero at 4:00 p.m. ET on Friday. It was truly a chaotic masterpiece.

With the trades over, we now get to analyze the moves and actions of every team at the deadline. Of course, we mostly mean breaking down who won the deadline and who emerged from the smoke as losers. Here are the biggest winners and losers of the 2021 MLB trade deadline.

Winners of the MLB trade deadline

Los Angeles Dodgers

When it comes to the biggest winners of the trade deadline, that distinction belongs to the defending World Series champions in the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seriously, it is not even close.

The Dodgers watched and bided their time waiting to strike. Upon hearing that the rival San Diego Padres were on the verge of acquiring Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer, the Dodgers stepped up to the proverbial plate and flexed their farm system. They managed to flip four prospects, including their top two in Keibert Ruiz and Josiah Gray, to the Nationals not only for Scherzer but for star shortstop Trea Turner.

Los Angeles showed the world, specifically the Padres and the San Francisco Giants, that they do not plan on surrendering their Commissioner’s Trophy.

New York Yankees

The New York Yankees managed to turn their once apprehensive fanbase into believers for their moves at the trade deadline. While the AL East title may be out of reach for the Yankees, they showed that they fully intend on making a push for a Wild Card berth.

During Wednesday’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Yankees acquired Joey Gallo from the Texas Rangers to add defense in their outfield and his left-handed bat into the starting lineup. The following day, the Yankee faithful felt hopeless after the team lost 14-0 to the Rays. But their spirits were lifted after seeing that general manager Brian Cashman added another left-handed bat to the team in the form of Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo. Finally, in the minutes leading up to the deadline, the Yankees acquired Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney.

The Yankees’ once right-handed-heavy batting order is much more balanced heading into the final months of the 2021 season. That is a huge win for the Bronx Bombers.

Chicago White Sox

What organizations have valued heading into the postseason is building a super bullpen to give opposing teams fits. The Chicago White Sox managed to bolster their bullpen this past offseason by signing closer Liam Hendriks. But the White Sox were not done heading into the deadline.

They looked to the crosstown Cubs on two occasions. First, they acquired Ryan Tepera from the Cubbies on Thursday. But on Friday, the White Sox decided to drop the hammer by giving the Cubs yet another call to land their star closer in Craig Kimbrel in exchange for Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer.

Whoever matches up against the White Sox in the postseason is not going to have fun in the final innings of those games. That bullpen is the stuff of nightmares.

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants entered MLB trade deadline day sitting in first place in the NL West. Yet, they simply had to respond to the moves of the Dodgers and Padres. They did so, without surrendering the farm.

On Friday, the Giants acquired utility man Kris Bryant from the Cubs. That did not necessarily come as a shock, since they were linked to him for quite some time. Adding Bryant to their roster is a huge get for the Giants, as he has played in five different positions throughout the season with the Cubs. Perhaps the best thing about the move is that the Giants did not have to surrender their top prospects for him.

That makes it a huge win for the Giants.

Toronto Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays, like the Yankees and Rays, are in the running for the AL Wild Card. The Rays saw the Yankees add Gallo and Rizzo, while the Boston Red Sox made the savvy move of acquiring slugger Kyle Schwarber from the Nationals. While those moves were massive, the Blue Jays addressed a positional need and got the best option available.

One of the biggest sellers at the deadline were the Minnesota Twins, and their most prized piece on the trading block was starting pitcher Jose Berrios. There were plenty of teams in the running for Berrios, but his asking price was high, given that he has one more year of arbitration remaining before hitting free agency after the 2022 season. The Blue Jays surrendered shortstop Austin Martin (No. 2 prospect) and Simeon Woods Richardson (No. 4 prospect) to the Twins to gain the services of Berrios.

The Blue Jays have no problem with hitting, but they needed to add a starter to their rotation in their push to a postseason berth. While it was pricey, the Blue Jays got the best starter available not named Scherzer. Oh, and they got reliever Brad Hand from the Nationals, another strong acquisition for them.

New York Mets

The New York Mets simply needed to make a huge move at the trade deadline, as the NL East sweepstakes is going to be highly contested for the remainder of the season. Even with the bevy of big-name players on the move, the Mets decided to give the Cubs a call, thanks to a push from shortstop Francisco Lindor.

In the hours ahead of the deadline, the Mets acquired shortstop Javier Baez and pitcher Trevor Williams from the Cubs in exchange for No. 5 prospect Pete Crow-Armstrong.

The Mets now have a dynamic and exciting middle-infield duo once Lindor makes his return from a Grade 2 right oblique strain. New York will get to enjoy it for the remainder of the season, as Baez is set to look for a similar contract that Lindor received this past offseason. Even so, the Mets needed to make a move to put them over the top against the NL East foes, and they did just that.

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